Unlocking Magical Career Opportunities: One Rowan University Student’s Path with the Disney College Program

Discover the Benefits of the Disney College Program: Real-World Experience, Networking, and Lifelong Memories

Meet Sydney Cella, a business management major, entrepreneurship minor, and John H. Martinson Honors College student from Washington Township (Gloucester County), New Jersey. Sydney will graduate in about a year and half from now, and participated in the Disney College Program. Currently, she is still working for Walt Disney World as a representative for college students, while finishing her undergraduate degree.

After years of research, Sydney took a leap of faith and applied to the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida. She has always been a Disney fan, and would spend her time watching videos of other participants on their college programs. This inspired Sydney to go after her dreams of working for the mouse.

Sydney standing in front of a 'Disney Programs' sign, holding a pair of mouse ears.

Prior to her departure to Walt Disney World for her program, Sydney had already completed a year’s worth of college classes at Rowan. These classes helped her prepare for networking, giving her skills to succeed while on her college program, and in her job post college program.

When last fall rolled around, Sydney was off to Orlando, working as an attractions cast member at Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Sydney made lots of memories with her fellow cast members during her time in Orlando. Whether it was riding Rise of the Resistance with her co-workers, or doing homework at the top of PizzaRizzo, her days were full of fun and adventure. One of Sydney’s favorite memories was having the opportunity to work a shift for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. She was able to watch the parade and dance with her co-worker inside of Magic Kingdom.

Sydney standing in front of the Millennium Falcon in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

There are additional Disney perks for students who participate in the Disney College Program. Many students do not know about the backstage tours that DCP students can register for. On her program, Sydney was able to tour The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Jungle Cruise, Rock ā€˜nā€™ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, and many more attractions. Some programs allow for students to earn college credits while working in Disney.

The Disney College Program was truly a life-changing experience. I grew so much as a person. From learning to live on my own to spending everyday at Disney World, the program was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  It is a must-do program for Disney fans!

A couple of months before her college program ended, Sydney received an email about a job which would allow for her to stay with Walt Disney World, while still attending college. Sydney jumped at the opportunity, and was offered the job. In her current position as a representative, she promotes the Disney College Program to students at Rowan University. Sydney attends career fairs and frequently hosts tabling events across campus. She will reach out to Rowan students that have already been accepted to the program through email and virtual office hours to assist them in their move to Florida. Through this job, she feels like she gets to bring the Disney magic right back to Glassboro, New Jersey, while still working toward her business degree.

Sydney working a shift at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Magic Kingdom.

After experiencing the Disney College Program for herself, Sydney would recommend this adventure for college students. “The program provides such a well-rounded experience for participants. Not only can students work in Walt Disney World, but they can participate in cast member-exclusive events and activities! Also, students will be responsible for living on their own in the beautiful Flamingo Crossings Village. One of the most exciting benefits is that participants have free park admission! (There are some blockout dates, etc.) This is a great program for Disney fans and anyone looking for a fun work experience!”

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Written by: Jordyn Dauter, senior double major in dance & elementary education

Photos by: Sydney Cella